Laws and regulations

  • FCC explores grating local police authority to shut off mobile networks

    The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently seekingpublic comment on whether it is appropriate for law enforcement agencies to shut down cell phone networks

  • Fearful immigrants trickle back into Alabama

    After Alabama enacted its tough new immigration laws last September, the state saw a large exodus of fearful immigrants who packed up their entire families and fled the state; since the law went into effect, some illegal immigrants have begun returning to the state

  • DHS suspends expansion of Secure Communities in Alabama

    Due to ongoing federal litigation against Alabama’s tough new immigration laws, DHS has halted the expansion of the Secure Communities immigration program in the state; the law has been tied up in legal battles, and a federal appeals court has already blocked portions of it

  • Statistical model removes barriers to using fingerprint evidence in court

    Potentially important fingerprint evidence is currently not being considered in legal proceedings owing to shortcomings in the way it is reported; researchers have devised a statistical model to enable the weight of fingerprint evidence to be quantified, paving the way for its full inclusion in the criminal identification process

  • Legal expert: NDAA does not comply with Constitution

    Shayana Kadidal, the senior managing attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, recently spoke with Homeland Security NewsWire’s executive editor Eugene K. Chow; in the interview Kadidal discusses the legal challenges of closing Guantanamo Bay, the legal consequences of the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and the Obama administration’s position on transferring detainees

  • DHS: more than 1,600 deportation cases should be closed

    As part of the Obama administration’s ongoing efforts to shift its immigration policy to deporting dangerous illegal immigrants, last week DHS officials recommended canceling deportation proceedings against more than 1,600 illegal immigrants in Denver and Baltimore who were not deemed a threat

  • Experts: SOPA, PROTECT IP will stifle creativity, diminish free speech

    Legal experts say that Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) are to intellectual property what the Communications Decency Act was to “indecent” online material — an incredibly powerful, blunt instrument that would drastically diminish free speech

  • Congressional approval of cybersecurity bill looks promising

    Amid the partisan acrimony of the budget battles on Capitol Hill, the Obama administration and the Senate have made promising efforts to pass a sweeping cybersecurity bill in a rare show of bipartisan agreement; the bill is now at the top of the Senate’s agenda, and Senator Harry Reid (D – Nevada), the majority leader, said he plans to bring the bill to the floor during the first working session of 2012

  • Drones and privacy

    With civilian unmanned surveillance drones now capable of listening in on cell phone conversations, monitoring Wi-Fi traffic, seeing into backyards and windows not visible from the street, and tracking a person’s movement privacy advocates are concerned that the rapid advances in technology could violate privacy rights

  • Facebook facial recognition proving problematic overseas

    A German court ruled that Facebook’s facial recognition software is in violation of German and European privacy laws; the company has until 7 November to amend its software to comply with German and EU laws or else it will face legal action

  • Underage cartel recruits increasingly prosecuted by local courts

    In the past when Border Patrol or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents would catch teenagers smuggling narcotics, the agency would hand the case over to federal prosecutors, but Border Patrol has entered into a new arrangement with local prosecutors and the U.S. Attorney General’s office to send cases directly to local courts for prosecution

  • Federal court blocks portions of Alabama immigration law

    Last week a federal judge blocked enforcement of several provisions of a controversial Alabama immigration law

  • DHS limits employees outside activities

    Last week DHS announced that it was considering a policy that would limit the outside activities of its federal employees

  • Calif. Allows warrantless searches of cell phones

    California Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill which aimed to prohibit California police from conducting warrantless searches of the cell phones of people under arrest

  • Judge rules parts of Patriot Act unconstitutional

    U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken ruled that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as amended by the Patriot Act, now permits surveillance and searches without satisfying the probable cause requirements of the Fourth Amendment; “For over 200 years, this Nation has adhered to the rule of law — with unparalleled success. A shift to a Nation based on extra-constitutional authority is prohibited, as well as ill-advised,” she wrote